"Past 21 The Arctic Cell"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Here's a clear case of not judging a band by its name. "Megaton Leviathan" conjures up imagery of an ironclad dinosaur crushing everything in its path. That's not really the sound this unusual project is going for. Think of something more hypnotic, even relaxing, but still plodding and methodical. It could be termed post-metal...but even then, it's not anything like the usual Isis/Cult of Luna stuff.

Only four tracks here but as you might expect, all are ambling, long-winded crawls. Quite frankly, I was utterly mesmerized by first and longest track "Past 21". It is indeed very heavy and doomy in spots, but wrapped in a kind of gauzy melancholy that builds and builds in beautiful fashion. The layering on this song is phenomenal and when weeping violins come in towards the end, you almost feel like crying. It's a sad, powerful and yet relaxing tune and it totally dominates the album.

"The Foolish Man" surprises with a very strong Indian/raga feel and generous use of sitar. It doesn't grab me quite the way that "Past 21" did but it's an interesting take on post-metal. "Arctic Cell" returns to the style of the first track but with an appropriately much colder feel. Where "Past 21" had a lushness to it, this song feels like a glacier moving past. It includes some powerful guitar soloing. The biggest surprise is kept for last, as Megaton Leviathan does a cover of the early Judas Priest ballad "Here Come The Tears". It is extremely melodic and poppy at first, but gains weight as it moves on, with waves of acidic guitar soloing taking over the tune. This is a good example of a cover that twists the original to the primary band's own vision.

Unique and interesting, I can't quite compare Megaton Leviathan to anything else.